The technology base required to fabricate silicon nitride components with the strength, reliability, and reproducibility necessary for actual heat engine applications is presented. Task 2 was set up to develop test bars with high Weibull slope and greater high temperature strength, and to conduct an initial net shape component fabrication evaluation. Screening experiments were performed in Task 7 on advanced materials and processing for input to Task 2. The technical efforts performed in the second year of a 5-yr program are covered. The first iteration of Task 2 was completed as planned. Two half-replicated, fractional factorial (2 sup 5), statistically designed matrix experiments were conducted. These experiments have identified Denka 9FW Si3N4 as an alternate raw material to GTE SN502 Si3N4 for subsequent process evaluation. A detailed statistical analysis was conducted to correlate processing conditions with as-processed test bar properties. One processing condition produced a material with a 97 ksi average room temperature MOR (100 percent of goal) with 13.2 Weibull slope (83 percent of goal); another condition produced 86 ksi (6 percent over baseline) room temperature strength with a Weibull slope of 20 (125 percent of goal).